SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
ROAD TO DOUBLE OR NOTHING
POSTED ON YOUTUBE.COM
MAY 11, 2020
REPORT BY ZACH GRAHAM, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Watch it here…
– A Double of Nothing graphic aired with the sign lit like a flashing neon sign.
– Jungle Boy and Cody were sitting in the bleachers at Daily’s Place in Jacksonville. Jungle Boy was talking to Cody and said they talked the other day about how the year has just flown by. He said that this will be his first singles match on a PPV ever and he wants to make the most of it. He turned to Cody and said he knows he’s had a unique relationship with MJF and Cody laughed. Jungle Boy said he was his mentor then his enemy and Cody said he still kind of is his mentor in a way “even though he’s a… yeah.” Jungle Boy asked if Cody had any info or advice for him. Cody said he wouldn’t put any pressure on himself even though it’s his first PPV singles match. Cody said he had a few main events before his first PPV singles match which was in front of 80,000 people and nobody had put it together. Cody said he hadn’t even considered that this was Jungle Boy’s first singles match on a PPV. Cody said he lost his privilege to bury Max, but as a wrestler, you need to be cognizant of the fact that he’s a counter style wrestler and a perseverance wrestler. He’s going to hang in there and wait for a lucky break and he has good wind, which is what hurt Cody at Revolution. Cody said the most important thing is for Jungle Boy to not fall into his game like he did with the ten lashes and the cage match. “You don’t want to blow your wad before the PPV” he advised Jungle Boy. Cody told him to just go in visualizing yourself winning and don’t get caught in the weeds otherwise known as MJF because people can’t get out of that maze, himself included. Cody told Jungle Boy “Just win, man. Just win.”
– Jenn Decker said hello and introduced the Road to Double or Nothing update. Decker said this Wednesday on Dynamite it’s an absolutely stacked card including a women’s four-way match between Penelope Ford, Kris Statlander, Britt Baker, and Hikaru Shida. Decker said that since she lost her title shot against Riho, Statlander has rebounded nicely until her last singles match which was against Nyla Rose. Decker noted that Statlander also lost the last four-way match she was in, but that match did help familiarize her to Penelope Ford and Shida in this type of match setting. Decker said Statlander and Britt Baker are far from strangers as the two have faced off in singles and tag team competition where they split the victories.
Decker said if Statlander can stay focused on her game plan and not get caught up in the chaos, she feels good about Statlander’s chances. She did note that Shida has been on another level though and pointed out that this is the environment that Shida thrives in as she’s undefeated in three-way and four-way matches in AEW. Decker said Britt Baker will be on the lookout to return the favor to Shida for the “poor man’s nose job” she received in their last match. Lastly, Decker said do not sleep on Penelope Ford as she’s been consistently putting out matches that some consider to be huge upsets on AEW Dark including pinning the inaugural AEW Women’s Champion Riho. A graphic of the women was shown and Decker said that this match definitely has title implications written all over it.
Decker said that this Wednesday, we also get to see the fallout from the street fight last week between Hardy & Omega and Le Sex Gods. Highlights of the match aired as Decker recapped the match saying that Hardy & Omega seemingly had the win until the rest of Inner Circle interfered. Decker said this week, Omega & Hardy get a chance for retribution as they take on Santana & Ortiz. Decker said that Santana & Ortiz haven’t seen Omega since the Bash at the Beach when they were all involved in a Fatal Four-way Tag match. Decker also noted there’s next to no tape on Hardy’s current essence Damascus either. Decker said we have no idea what version of Hardy will show up on Wednesday, which should have Santana & Ortiz pretty concerned. “The Elite have got to be getting desperate at this point” Decker said because they are seemingly losing more and more control of AEW as each week passes. Decker then said Wednesday will also have the return of MJF.
– Tony Schiavone and Dasha Gonzalez were sitting next to each other on a couch. Schiavone said he’s very happy to be doing this one so he can talk to his buddy; Dasha agreed and they touched elbows and laughed. Schiavone said that Dasha has been a part of the Spanish announce team, ring announcer, and worked with him on Dark as well. Dasha said her mom always told her to try and wear as many hats as possible and when they call her, she just yes because “what’s the worst that could happen?” Schiavone asked her how she got into the business and she said she applied online while in a biology class. She said her husband told her she would be great at that and she admitted she’d never considered it, but the prospect of it sounded great and it checked all the boxes she wanted out of a job.
Schiavone said they’re all very excited that Dasha is competing in the Titan Games that are coming up on NBC that’s airing at the end of May. Schiavone asked how that came about. Dasha said she was watching Dwayne Johnson’s Instagram and he posted a call to action about it. Dasha said most people see her as an interviewer or announcer, but she did wrestle a little back in the day and she’s very athletic. She listed off her athletic accomplishments in quick succession, then said this show would show the world more about her. She said she’s gone through some big struggles in life and maybe this can help motivate people to try new things in their own lives. She said when she did the show she was coming off an Achilles surgery and the show helped regain her confidence in herself and her athletic ability.
She said it was the most challenging physical and mental thing she’s ever done. Schiavone asked if she ever wanted to wrestle again and she said absolutely. Dasha said she loves the culture at AEW and the family and she feels comfortable there and maybe one day she can represent the women in AEW. Schiavone ran down her accolades again including a degree in microbiology, marine ROTC, gymnast, beauty pageant queen, Spanish announcer, ring announcer, and maybe now a wrestler. Gonzalez laughed and said who knows. Schiavone said it’s always great working with her, thanked her, and then they fist bumped. Schiavone asked if they’re allowed to do that, so they touched elbows again instead.
– Suge D (aka Pineapple Pete) sat down and introduced himself. He said his name is Suge D, but everyone probably knows him as Pineapple Pete now. He said he spent a long time in his career with a broken compass without knowing where he was going. He said every beating he took, he came back for more because he wanted this. He said after being in it for so long you start wondering because your friends all get signed and break down walls, while you used to be on the same cards as them. He said it starts to creep in “am I that bad? Am I unwanted? If I quit now, how close was I?” He said that’s what Indie wrestling is like every day. It’s pain, long car drives, and crappy pay. It’s clawing and scratching and having the grit knowing you may not even make it, but you love the art so you perform anyway. He said it took Chris Jericho playing around on commentary for the world to know who he was. A clip of Jericho berating him from commentary aired as a clip of Suge D holding a pineapple up was shown with a big smile on his face. He said that when you’ve been in the shadows for like sixteen years, wondering if you’re ever going to see a ray of light, one little sliver of sunshine changes everything. He put his sunglasses back on, smiled, and said thanks Chris.
– Two members of Dark Order were tearing down recruitment signs with all the tags removed and hanging new ones. A man walked up and grabbed the paper. He looked at it and threw it down. He shoved one of the recruits down then tapped the other on the chest and said that they don’t want “you’re freak kind around here.” Brodie Lee pulled up in a black SUV and got out. He yelled “excuse me” to the man angrily as he slowly walked his direction and adjusted his suit. He asked if there was a problem, the guy said no. 10 could be seen walking just behind Lee. He told the man they mean no harm and they were just doing their jobs, he extended a hand to the man and said there’s no problem here. The man looked at Lee’s hand and Lee grabbed his head and slammed him into the wooden fence twice then threw him to the ground. Lee walked over and picked up the two masked recruits. Lee walked past 10, tapped him on shoulder, then he and the two recruits started stomping on the man. Lee walked back and got in his vehicle and drove off as the three beat the man up, Lee looked back in his rearview mirror.
I thought there were plenty of things to like about this episode. I think Jungle Boy/Cody discussion was great. It’s interesting they never said Jungle Boy’s name. I’m not sure if it was intentional or not, but Jungle Boy is a less serious name especially when the Road To series has often been more serious.
I always like the Jenn Decker “studio” style segments when she breaks down an upcoming match from a more sports oriented mindset. I thought she did a good job highlighting all the women in the upcoming match on Dynamite. It was a little strange for her to sell Statlander for most of it, then start arguing her own points in favor of the other competitors. It was mostly a wording thing as she seemed to say Statlander was her pick, but then made the case for everyone else.
The Schiavone and Gonzalez interview was pretty standard. They did use it to promote her on an upcoming show, which was news to me. I like this stuff, but it’s nothing spectacular or specific to Double or Nothing or AEW for that matter.
The Dark Order vignette was intriguing. I like how strong they make Brodie Lee look. He comes across as charismatic, but his underlings all seem like pathetic losers who have no chance of becoming something apart from 10 (not counting Stu Grayson or Evil Uno that is.) I’m happy to let it play out, but they cowered down to that guy immediately like they were an elementary school getting bullied by a high school kid. It was just strange from that sense. Overall, this was an excellent episode. If you only had time for one segment, watch the Cody interview or the Jenn Decker segment previewing some of Dynamite tomorrow.